I lead a very good life, and I really have nothing to complain about. Sure, I’m old and fat and have a bad back, but a lot of people are a lot worse off than I am so I won’t snivel too much about that. I’m married to a beautiful woman, we have a wonderful relationship, and we fall more in love every day. We have a nice home, I have more toys than I have time to use, and I can’t think of anything else I would rather do for a living than what I’m doing right now, sitting at my desk writing stories.
However, life still is not always rainbows and unicorns. Is it for anyone? There are always little things that come up that you could do just as well without, right?
An example is our 2005 Ford Explorer. It was a top-of-the-line model for that year and came with every accessory you could ever want or need. Even though we have newer vehicles, it’s still the one we choose to drive most of the time around town. It’s got over 150,000 miles on it, not counting all the miles we towed it behind our motorhome, and it is still a comfortable, reliable car. Well, it is for the most part.
The last time we drove it, a couple of weeks ago, everything seemed fine. Then, a few days ago, we were going to run some errands, and it wouldn’t start. The battery was dead. Not just low, but stone cold dead. My first thought was that maybe we hadn’t closed a door all the way, and an interior light was on and had drained the battery. But nothing seemed out of place in that way.
Because we had to run some errands, we took the van, and I figured I would get to the Explorer’s problem in a day or three. A few days later, I got my battery charger out and hooked it up, and let it charge for about three hours. When I tried to start the Explorer, the best I could get was a couple of clicks when I turned the key. The battery charger has a Quickstart function, so I switched over to that, and still nothing. It was one of my bad back days, so I gave up for then.
Yesterday, I started our Ford pickup truck and hooked a set of battery cables between that and the Explorer, let it run for a few minutes, and tried to start the Explorer. Again, I got a few clicks, and that was it. So I let it sit and charge for about half an hour, then went out, and it fired right up.
I got the battery in February of this year and it’s still under warranty so I drove the Explorer down to O’Reilly Auto Parts and left it running while I went inside and told someone I thought I had a battery issue. O’Reilly’s is very good to deal with, and an employee came out and hooked some kind of a tester to the battery. He tried a couple of things, then told me to shut the engine off and see if it would start up again. I was a bit apprehensive, but I figured they’ve got everything I need to get back on the road if it wouldn’t start. As it turned out, it started right up.
He tested a couple of other things and then said that the problem was the voltage regulator in the Explorer’s alternator. So I called Leon’s Automotive, a local family owned shop that does all our work, and made an appointment to bring it in next week. Leon’s is not the kind of shop that just starts throwing parts at something, they test everything first, so I’m sure that if that’s the problem, they’ll get it handled and get the Explorer running again.
Something else that’s not fun that I have going on right now is that I have somehow managed to misalign my lower jaw. The pillows we use have a zipper on them, and we can put in or remove the stuffing. A while back, mine was feeling like it was compressed down quite a bit, so Terry put a couple of handfuls of stuffing in it and then washed both of our pillows and ran them through the dryer, which fluffed them up quite a bit.
That night, we went to bed, and it felt like we had gone to the other extreme and there was too much stuffing, but I figured it would compress as I slept on it. It didn’t, and the next day I woke up with a stiff neck. We were busy with a lot of things and didn’t get around to taking some of the stuffing back out for a couple of days, and by then, my neck was really aggravating me.
At the same time, and I don’t know if it’s related to the pillow or not, I realized I was biting the side of my tongue. Even in my sleep, I would wake up with my tongue sore. Then I realize that it seemed like my lower jaw was out of alignment with my upper jaw, somewhat over to the right, which meant every time I talked or moved my tongue or chewed anything, I was rubbing against my teeth or biting my tongue. At the same time, I had some discomfort in my jaw hinges, especially on the right side. Well, that’s no fun!
I texted my chiropractor friend, Dr. Meloney Thomas, to ask if she had any idea what the problem was, and she sent me a link to a video for an exercise that is supposed to help with just that problem. It was a simple and easy exercise, and as soon as I did, I felt a clunking in my right jaw hinge. I did the exercise a couple of times, and then things seemed to line back up. But an hour later, I was back where I started. That was a couple of days ago, and I keep doing the exercise, and things seem to line up, but they don’t stay there. If it doesn’t get better, I’ll wait until next week sometime, after Thanksgiving is behind us, and make an appointment to go and see Meloney and see if she can do anything for me.
But not everything is doom and gloom. My pal Judy Judy Rinehimer completed the second proofing of the last few chapters of my new book, Big Lake Hoarder, and I made her corrections and then sent it off to Roberta Jensen, my third proofreader, yesterday. Once she does her thing and sends it back, I will make her corrections and then print it out for Terry to go through the whole manuscript one final time. It’s getting close now, folks. I’m excited!
Thought For The Day – Don’t forget to set your bathroom scales back 15 pounds at midnight tonight for Thanksgiving.